Non native trees Lantau
Happily, after letter written n sent, it seems that some sense has filtered through to the powers that be, and maybe native trees will be planted instead.
From horticulturalist and Lantau resident Paul Melsom, re plans for widespread planting of non-native trees on Lantau
Another Bomb shell to hit Lanatu Island is the planting of 2 million non native trees around Pennys Bay and Silver Mine bay by the Civil Engineeering Development Department CEDD and 100,000 Wedelia trilobata ground cover which is already invasive in the Pacific Islands.
The species to be planted are all non natives:
Acacia auriculiformis (native to Australia)
Casuarina equisetifolia (native to Australia)
Eucalyptus calophylla (native to Australia)
Lophostemon confertus (native to Australia)
Schima wallichii (non native in H.K.)
Instead of regenerating the native biodiversity in the area by planting native trees and shrubs they are going for a quick greening effect using these non native exotic trees, cheaply imported from China. These generate little or no wildlife and have names associated with them like the Silent Forests or plastic forests. There is usually little or no understorey of native plants with in these plantations. The mono planting on the hills looks ugly.Th effects of pollen from Casuarinas is a health hazard especially on this scale and these trees produce chemicals that inhibit growth or stop any emerging native seedlings from growing.
The tree planting project was first seen on a goverment notice board in Mui Wo. It was on A4 paper which is ridiculously small for such a large scale project of this type with no details of the numbers of trees to be planted and just a very small scale map with the areas to be planted shaded in. You would think they would be advertising the fact that they are planting 2 million trees, but no! It seems with little information on the notice that they do not want the community to know about this!
Their reason for not planting natives is that they had little succes in trials in the 80's . Which is nonsense seeing that Kadoorie Farm and myself [Paul Melsom] are growing natives successfully on the slopes.
Some of the Chinese press have picked up on this and the CEDD are now reassessing the situation after a meeting at Legislative council last week arranged by [legislator] Albert Chan.